With a few days left of his first 100 days in office, President Donald Trump’s friend Gov. Chris Christie graded his performance so far as a “B.”
“The reason I’d give him a B is first and foremost because of (Supreme Court Justice) Neil Gorsuch,” the New Jersey governor said on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”
Christie, a Republican Trump supporter, said the impact of the successful Supreme Court nomination would survive Trump’s presidency “no matter how many years he serves.”
Christie’s criticism landed largely on White House staff.
“I think with some of the implementation and some of the ways that his staff has served him has not been extraordinarily good,” Christie said. “They’ve got to get their act together in that regard and serve the President better.”
Christie cited the failed March attempt to pass a major health care reform bill as an example of something that wasn’t handled in an “exemplary” fashion, although he added that he wished Republicans “the best of luck” as they continue to try to negotiate a bill that would repeal and replace Obamacare.
Christie endorsed Trump for president after bowing out of a bid of his own, and in so doing, he became one of the first major GOP figures to back the controversial first-time politician. Christie led Trump’s transition team during the campaign, but after Trump’s victory, Vice President Mike Pence took over the transition process.
Ultimately, the team that went into the White House contained relatively few people with significant governing experience. Christie said “time will tell” if the path the White House has chosen is the right one.
He did however praise Pence, the former governor of Indiana, as someone with effective governing experience and mentioned Rick Dearborn, a White House deputy chief of staff, as an experienced and competent team member.
“He’s got a lot of very good people there,” Christie said.
During the transition period, Trump never nominated Christie for a Cabinet position, although his name was floated in many reports as a potential pick. Christie has instead continued to serve as governor of New Jersey and maintained his position as a friend and informal adviser to the President.
He said in an interview in January that Trump had not offered him a job “exciting enough for me to leave the governorship.”
While one former Republican presidential rival was positive with a B grade, a potential future Democratic opponent for Trump was less generous.
Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a vocal Trump critic, gave Trump an “F” earlier in the same program.